Cricket: Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis says Pitches in England have changed

Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis says the nature of pitches in England has changed and it gives them the option of playing two spinners when the Test series begins in hot conditions next month.

Younis said the ongoing England-West Indies series has shown that the pitches at Southampton and Manchester are now slow and sluggish.

“We will see how the pitch behaves in the third Test between West Indies and England at Manchester but there is no doubt that the behaviour of pitches has changed in England,” Younis said during an online media interaction.

“Early to say who will play but we have got an idea after the WI test matches. We are trying to prepare those players who can be effective on such pitches. We are looking at all option look at weather as well it gets hot in August and we might even have to think about playing two spinners as well,” Younis said.

The former pacer said the team management will keep an eye on the third Test as well.

Pakistan’s first Test against England begins from August 5 at Manchester.

Younis said he was surprised that the pacers didn’t face much problems despite not using saliva to shine the ball during the England-West Indies series.

“I had doubts about what will happen to bowlers not being able to use saliva because it is a habitual thing and I have been a fast bowler myself. But I think it is working quite nicely. The difference in cricket balls also matters.

“The Duke ball is harder and it can be shined through sweat as well and the pitches were slow and sluggish in the West Indies tests but the ball did seam and move around and no bowler has complained as yet. It is workable. It did work. I feel it can be done.”

Younis said Pakistan’s track record in England was good and he remained optimistic that the team will not disappoint in the coming series.

“I am sure we will not let our supporters and followers down. We will try to make them proud of us with our performances.”

Younis had recently termed India skipper Virat Kohli as a benchmark for youngsters to follow in fitness and performances.

Asked if any Pakistan players matched up to Kohli’s fitness standards, he said, “Kohli is one of the top athletes but I think our boys are not far behind specially Babar Azam who is very fit and he is also delivering goods with his performances. Shaheen Shah is another one who is super fit.”

He admitted that the players when they came to England after spending nearly three months in isolation because of the Covid-19 pandemic had been rusty.

“But right now in the training camp they are getting better and we are working hard on ensuring their fitness levels meet those standards required in world cricket,” he said.

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